Stinging Nettles

I have been working on my homework- that is the stepping patterns which are posted in an earlier post. There are 6 we are to memorize by our next meeting. I remember the first two from classes (a long time ago!) and have gotten the new ones now too. Six out of twenty I guess (altogether). Supposing they will get harder, because we will probably add arm motions over our Hagsaeng Naebu weekend- I’m guessing. There’s a funny little circular step in pattern #5, and I am curious as to what the will turn in to- a fake-out, maybe a sweep? Well we’ll all know more about that after our weekend (in 2 short weeks).

My kombucha growing experience is going well! I’ve been drinking from the first batch (it’s been 4 weeks now) and plan to make more tea to put the organism into when it’s gone. It still has a little bit of a sweet flavor, but enough bite so I can tell it’s good for drinking, it’s even a little bit naturally carbonated.

Other than that, I’ve been working on the 5 element forms to keep them fresh. Also now I am curious as to which of the 5 (and the 8, from the Taeguk forms) elements I “default” to, which gives me another thing to wonder about while practicing.

I wanted to say that I feel I have learned a lot of Taekwondo that is very practical. Even though it is fun (definitely!) it also works on a practical level. Not only to we learn general techniques, such as kicks, punches and joint locks, we also put them together as defenses to kicks, strikes, joint locks, grabs, weapons, anything we might need to defend against. In Master Shaffer’s breakfall/ throwing class I noticed that for each new technique she showed the class, we would also get around to doing a defense against that same technique.

Last week I was given a wonderful gift from a person I started talking to in the dining area at Green Star; a bag full of fresh Stinging Nettles! Nettles are one of my favorite plants. They are nutritious (Vitamins A, C, E and Vitamin K, iron, calcium and protein etc. etc) and are one of the best remedies for allergies (including seasonal allergies) which makes this a good time to talk about them… I used to have bad allergies to mold and mildew, since drinking Nettle tea every day I am no longer bothered by allergies to the point that I forget I even had them. When I researched uses of Nettles for a class I found references to over a hundred uses… the one I was most excited about, when I got a bag of fresh nettles (fresh enough to sting!) is that the stings of the Nettle are actually good for stiff muscles. People use them for arthritis- what I have is more of a perpetually stiff sore neck (and lower back, and shoulders- I’ve been told I have “martial art body”) so every time I see Nettles growing I run over to them and rub the back of my neck on them. The stinging hairs are actually hollow and inject a “cocktail” of anti-inflammatory compounds underneath the skin, so that after the initial sting wears off, my neck feels more relaxed than it ever does generally.

Also I have come back to my practice of the Inner Smile, and starting the Microcosmic Orbit, concentrating on the hara/ dan-tien point. I notice that at the end when I open my eyes everything looks new, and that the headache which threatens for days sometimes, was gone for a time after my practice.

That’s all for this week then~ Thanks for reading!!

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